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Percentage of Uninsured Adults in U.S. Remains Elevated

Percentage of Uninsured Adults in U.S. Remains Elevated

by Elizabeth Mendes

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As President Obama and congressional Democrats make a final push this week to pass a healthcare bill, Gallup finds that more than 16% of American adults were without health coverage in January and February of this year, similar to the heightened number of uninsured recorded throughout much of 2009. This trend reflects a continuation of an increase that began as the economy worsened and layoffs accelerated in November of 2008.


Averaging January and February of this year brings the current 2010 average number of uninsured to 16.2%, matching the 2009 average, but significantly more than in 2008.


In terms of those who are insured, Gallup finds that so far in 2010 fewer are getting their health insurance through an employer and more are relying on government coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, or military/veterans' benefits) than in 2008. The 2010 averages for employer-based and government plans are currently similar to 2009 levels.

While attention is now turned to vote counting and parliamentary procedures aimed at getting a healthcare bill passed through Congress, the healthcare system is already confronting a changing health insurance landscape.

Learn more about the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Survey Methods

For the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Gallup is interviewing no fewer than 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide 350 days per year. All monthly samples are near 30,000 per month. For monthly results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of error is ±1 percentage point.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index™

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index measures the daily pulse of U.S. wellbeing and provides best-in-class solutions for a healthier world. To learn more, please visit

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